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What a difference 20 years can make. Twenty years ago, I was the World Bank point person organizing a response to the Houston G7 Summit's mandate to the bank and what was then called the European Community or EC to devise an Amazon forest protection program.
This is a joint post with Sheila Herrling
Dear Coach Lew,
Congratulations on your new position as deputy secretary of state where we understand you will be responsible for mobilizing and managing diplomacy and development resources, and reinvigorating those two "D's" alongside defense in the administration's new smart power agenda. Because of your demanding new role, we realize you might not get to properly enjoy the Super Bowl festivities this weekend, so we thought we'd bring a little Super Bowl pre-game analysis to the task ahead of you and your team.
In his first week, President Obama has made a point of reaching out to the rest of the world and signaling a change toward a more open and cooperative approach. Why, then, has he been silent on the efforts by Congress to insert extensive “Buy American” provisions in the stimulus bill?
Even as President Obama breaks new ground this week on U.S. environmental policy, an upcoming vote by country members of the World Bank’s Clean Technology Fund Trust Fund Committee may perpetuate business-as-usual policies that subsidize coal-fired power plants and contribute to global warming. On Friday morning, the committee is scheduled to consider and approve investment criteria that include coal-fired power projects among “clean” technologies that are eligible for billions in MDB financing.
Davos does feel different this year. CEOs as a group, if I can generalize after less than one full day, are crowding into open sessions to hear the experts opine on the world economy and the financial crisis (large meeting halls are filled early and many would-be attendees are left out in the cold). In prior years they seem to have spent more time networking with each other in the corridors. The press has emphasized that the Davos stars this year will come from the political not the corporate or entertainment worlds. So it seems.
President Obama clearly wants to break with his predecessor on energy and climate policy. But the American political divide has not disappeared, and it still threatens to derail the Copenhagen climate negotiations next December. Three developments during the past week highlight both the promise and the peril: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's appointment of Todd Stern to be U.S.
In "The Future of Statistical Computing," Leland Wilkinson argues that technological advances are going to shape the future of statistical analysis more than most other factors. The article is a helpful overview of today's statistical analysis, let alone predicting the future, for someone who remembers doing his first statistical models in Gauss (does anyone else even remember that package?).
Eldis, the online aggregator of development policy, practice and research at the Institute of Development Studies in Sussex, is conducting a survey to identify "the most significant new piece of development research of 2008." This strikes me as having roughly the same statistical validity as American Idol does for when it comes to finding new singing talent. Still, as with Idol and other talent shows, the entertainment value of a popularity contest is hard to dispute!